Most studies on nonverbal communication revolve around face-to-face interaction. However, modern communication goes beyond face-to-face interaction. Facial expressions are explicit ways of passing information from one individual to the other. It accounts for a larger part of nonverbal communication.
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A number of factors such as environmental conditions, physical characteristics, and behavioral factors influence communication. In organizations, employees draw a lot of behavior from experiences they find in firms. This would mean that firms shape the communication styles of employees in a number of ways. In fact, the use of facial gestures is just but one of the non-verbal communication techniques. In this paper, the use of facial gestures in communication is explored in detail.
Facial expressions say much more compared to spoken words. The expressions that fail to much the spoken words with indicate serious discomfort, lying or lack of confidence. Mouth, smiles, movement of the eyes and lips form part of what to study during a conversation. They are efficient and bring honesty. Happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, disgust, confusion, fear, desire, excitement, and contempt form part of the universally accepted forms of body language (Mcshane, & Seen, 2008).
The eyes reveal so much about an individual’s feelings and thoughts to an extent that they are generally referred to as the windows to the soul. They are the main direct and understandable signals that lead to instant creation of feelings regarding an individual. It is therefore necessary to observe their movement.
Note whether there is direct eye contact, they are turned away, blinking, or they have dilated pupils. Direct eye gauze may mean that one is paying attention and interested in the conversation. Prolonged eye contact could cause or indicate intimidation. Too much or frequent shifting of the eyes may mean that an individual is distracted, uncomfortable or he may be hiding particular feelings.
Eye contact during a conversation can indicate that the persons in the conversation are interested ,involved and are paying attention to what is being discussed. Experts recommend that eye contact last at the interval of four to five seconds. The frequency of the blinking is also very important. Observe if it is too frequent or very much less. Too much blinking shows distress and lack of comfort whereas too little blinking may indicate deliberate attempt to control the movement of the eyes.
The size of the pupil is a major facial gesture. Though it is controlled by light, it is sometimes influenced by an individual person’s state of emotions. The size is different for in different emotional states i.e. when one is sad, happy, or annoyed among others. Due observation during a conversation is therefore very important.
The mouth is very essential when understanding facial expressions. One chewing the lower lips of the mouth may be expressing fear, insecurity, and worries. The covering of the mouth signifies courtesy when coughing or gaping. He may also be covering a frown or disapproval. An individual biting his lips shows anxiety, stress, and worry. Considering the lips that are pursed, we observe distrust, distaste, and disapproval. This means the lips are used to pass certain form of messages.
A smile is greatest tool among all facial expression signals. It however may be a perfect instrument for deceit if it is false. It can also be the best way in which people express their best heartfelt emotions. A smile from the positive angle once expressed one feels welcome loved and appreciated.
It can also lead to total confusion and change of a mind set. This is notably bad if it is a false one. A fake smile can cause too much anger and mistrust after wards especially if the promises are broken. Frowning on the other hand displays sadness, worry, or displeasure. To some minimal levels frowning could show extreme extends of contentment and confusion. It is scary and can completely change the course of a discussion. The overall face says much about the moods of a person (Colins, 2003).
Human beings utilize facial signs to understand concealed meanings in verbal communication. They also use non-verbal codes to make decisions during uncertainty. People mainly react to changes in the environment through non-verbal signs. Individuals must therefore monitor nonverbal communication to ensure that the words they speak behaviors rhyme with official actions, especially when changes are to be made.
Facial expressions can result into enhanced relationships or damaged ones. This will depend on the way people interpret and present themselves. Utmost care must therefore be taken to avoid one being misinterpreted or appearing to be false. Similarly, facial expressions in communication play an important role in the organization because employees use it in interpreting the behavior of leaders. For instance, dissatisfied employees may not show their dissatisfaction directly.
They will show their disappointment through movement of either the lips or the eyes. For instance, an employee may frown, which is a sign of frustration. Equally, satisfied employees will show their happiness through eye movement. For instance, an employee may smile upon receiving certain information.
Colins, A. (2003). Gestures, body language, and behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill.
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Mcshane, S., & Seen, S. (2008). Canadian organizational behavior (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.